Talking tech since 2003

The world of mobile payments is perhaps one of the most exciting areas of tech development. It seems like almost every major tech company has a solution to the problem. The big players are well known: Apple Pay, Android Pay, Samsung Pay. The battle to replace the wallet has been underway for a while now and shows no signs of slowing down.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that some competitors will fall by the wayside. It certainly seems that mobile wallet developer MCX may have already lost the race. MCX represented a consortium of mega retailers such as Walmart. The company was working on its own mobile payment solution that relied on QR codes called CurrentC. Just a few days ago, MCX announced that CurrentC was delayed and that it was laying off a number of employees. Now it looks like the solution will never materialize.

yoyo1With so many top players in the space, anyone looking to innovate needs to take a very focused approach. Smaller players are looking to niche corners of the market to achieve that. For example, Venmo is focusing specifically on payments between people, providing a solution for when you owe a couple of bucks to a friend.

One company that is taking a different approach is Yoyo Wallet. The ethos of the company, and its mobile wallet app, is all about loyalty. Yoyo is focused on rewarding people for being loyal customers by providing them with deep discounts and special offers. But Yoyo goes far beyond the simple loyalty reward card you may be thinking of.

With traditional rewards and loyalty cards, you only receive a benefit after buying products or services. The simplest example is buying 10 coffees and getting the 11th for free. Yoyo wants to flip that idea on its head. The app provides a way to receive that discount up-front. So in comparison to the previous example, Yoyo walled users would be able to buy a sort of pre-paid card for 11 coffees for the price of ten, or some other similar discount. The magic comes from the fact that users receive a discount upfront for their loyalty, and retailers are able to instantly sell multiple items at once.

This is just one example, but it helps to underline the thinking behind the app. The company also says that it can reward loyalty in different ways. User who use Yoyo at their favorite retailer are teaching the app what they like to buy and when. So the next time a user walks into his or her favorite coffee shop, Yoyo will be able to provide a special offer tailored specifically for their preferences.

“Our goal at Yoyo Wallet has always been to evolve the relationship between a consumer and their wallet,” says Alain Falys, CEO and Co-Founder at Yoyo Wallet. “That means taking the classic payment experience and creating unexpected value; it also means solving recognized problems.”

Like all the players in this space, Yoyo faces significant challenges – heck even Apple and Google are working hard to speed up adoption of their mobile wallets. Yoyo has chosen a targeted strategy to increase adoption of its solution by partnering initially with 40 major universities and 100 corporations. Currently, Yoyo is available in six major universities in the U.K. If the company can achieve success there, than it may find its way to your wallet as well.

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